Sunday, the Global Diving recovery team deployed a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) at the site of the sunken fishing vessel Aleutian Isle near Sunset Point off the west side San Juan Island. The team was able to gather valuable water current and tidal data, as well as wreck assessments.
When the ROV reached the wreck, an estimated one hundred feet of fishing net was discovered. For the safety of on-scene personnel, and marine species, this debris will be removed as dive operations carry on.
Additionally, diver inspection of the sunken vessel’s hull for structural integrity was conducted. The vessel is reportedly stable enough for the recovery process to begin, but further inspections by divers are scheduled for Tuesday.
The barge and crane that will be used to raise the sunken vessel, the Aleutian Isle, has been securely anchored, and divers are preparing for underwater operations. Dive team recovery operations are estimated to take ten days once they begin. A temporary safety zone extends 1,000 yards around the dive site. Coast Guard crews are on scene to enforce the safety zone.
The Unified Command appreciates the public’s cooperation as divers and crews work to recover the Aleutian Isle without incident for the protection of the environment, sensitive and endangered species and all response personnel working the incident.
Persons caught violating a safety zone are subject to civil penalties under the law.
Severe wakes from recreational boaters violating the safety zone are making the already challenging environment MORE challenging and extremely dangerous. Recently, one person was injured with non-life-threatening injuries which caused all operations to cease.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) around the incident site. The public may not fly drones/UAS within this TFR zone, which extends up to and including 800 feet above areas around Henry Island and Garrison Bay south to areas around Eagle Point.
The TFR will remain in effect until 1 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 1.
An incident-specific web page has been created by the Washington Department of Ecology. Additional photos of the response can be found on Flickr. Developing updates will also be posted periodically on the U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Northwest social media accounts listed below.
- Sept 22: Aleutian Isle no longer significant threat to environment in the San Juan Islands
- Sept. 21 Update: Aleutian Isle on barge, 40 days after sinking to 200-foot depth
- Sept. 20 Aleutian Isle Update: Vessel moved to shallower Mitchell Bay, dewatering and rerigging underway
- Update 10: Further Aleutian Isle lifting operations postponed due to weight
- Aleutian Isle successfully raised to surface; no whales in area
- Lifting of the Aleutian Isle underway
- UPDATE 9: Final preparations underway for lifting fishing vessel Aleutian Isle
- Sept. 12 Update: Aleutian Isle recovery efforts
- Sept 9 Update: Rigging Aleutian Isle for lift will take a few more days
- Sept. 4 Update Aleutian Isle: Wreck cleared of entanglements; rigging begun
- Sept. 2 Aleutian Isle Update: All valves and vents closed off by divers
- Sept. 1: Divers removing netting from wreck of Aleutian Isle
- Aleutian Isle lying on starboard side 200 ft down; TFR extended to Oct. 15
- Aleutian Isle incident: Equipment on site, recovery will take 10 days once started
- U.S. and Canadian crews conduct transboundary whale deterrents drill
- August 25 Update: No sheen observed
- UPDATE #7: Efforts to bring sunken fishing boat up expected to begin Friday
- IOSA survey to gauge potential IOSA responder availability
- County Council met with response team last week; recording available
- Update 6: Specialized diving equipment will take a few days to arrive
- Coast Guard plans to remove entire FV Aleutian Isle from ocean floor
- 10 years ago, SeaDoc Society created a plan used today to keep orcas out of an oil spill
- Coast Guard Update 4: No marine, terrestrial, or airborne wildlife appear to have been affected
- Coast Guard Update 3: Depth of sunken boat increases difficulty for divers, ROV brought in, nets recovered
- Coast Guard Monday evening Update: Boat now in 200 ft of water
- Coast Guard, partner agencies respond to pollution incident after fishing vessel sinks off San Juan Island
- August 13: An "epic" encounter with J, K, and L pods
- Coast Guard Update: Divers on scene assessing possible defueling of sunken fishing boat
- Sunday evening update from Coast Guard about sunken fishing boat
- Opportunity lost
- San Juan County's view of diesel/oil spill situation
- Hotline to report sighting of oiled wildlife - 1-800-22-BIRDS.
- Coast Guard update on diesel/oil spill off of San Juan Island
- Diesel/oil spill off Sunset Point west side of San Juan Island